Mount Toubkal trekking guide

Mount or Jebel Toubkal is the highest peak in the Arab world and just over 60km from Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech where the Call to Prayer echoes out in all directions. At t 4,167m high, the call to climb Toubkal is also a pilgrimage for many. Although you don’t need climbing techniques to conquer it, but you do need a good level of fitness, the quickest route up to the summit taking two days.
On Toubkal, you will be guided by the Atlas’ indigenous Berber people. The name they give themselves is Amazigh, meaning ‘free people’. And up here, their sense of freedom is infectious.
The first day’s trek is from the gateway village of Imlil to Toubkal mountain refuge, then a second morning to summit followed by a five hour descent. However, with welcoming Berber villages, valleys and views along the way, a longer Toubkal trek is highly recommended. As is going with an expert guide and Berber porters who will lead you through their ancient homelands with an innate sense of care.
Read our Mount Toubkal trekking guide for more details.
Mount toubkal is/isn't ...

Mount Toubkal is...

not technical but it is tough trekking. You do need to be fit. So, get in training, it will be worth it.

Mount Toubkal is not...

to be tackled unguided. It is not a technical climb, it is slippy, windy and very hot.

Mount toubkal map & highlights

You can summit Mount Toubkal in a couple of days, with a couple of more days either end to get to and from Marrakech and acclimatise. Or you can take eight days to enjoy other aspects of the High Atlas highs, such as Mount Ouanoukrim, Morocco’s second highest peak. Camp in valleys with the wildest mountain environs enveloping you, such as Azaden Valley with its ancient juniper forests or the fertile slopes of Ourika Valley, the heartland of Berber pastures. No matter which route you take, or time you set aside to conquer the great peak, you will most likely start in the gateway village of Imlil, where the roads end and the mountain trails begin.

1. Aroumd

Also known as Aremd, this is the first stop for many trekkers, a village at an elevation of 2,000m with views over to Mount Toubkal. It is also your first real immersion into Berber community life, staying in a gite or village house where you will experience wonderful Berber hospitality. It is the highest village in the Ait Mizane Valley with myriad mountain spurs heading off in one direction and rugged ridges in another.

2. Imlil

This mountain village is the gateway for Toubkal trekkers. It is where the road ends (just 90 mins from Marrakech) and the mountain trails begin. A higgledy piggeldy village, you know you have left the urban madness behind with Berber shepherds, mules and muleteers, traditional adobe houses, a busy market, almond groves and views out to Mount Toubkal, with its perfect sunset positioning, all part of this magnificent scenario.
Lake Ifni

3. Lake Ifni

The only lake in the Toubkal massif, at 2,295m, and one that you will trek to if you take the southern slop approach to Toubkal. Enveloped by rugged, burnished mountains, it is a popular camping spot before taking the next leg up to Refuge Toubkal. Not only is it a wonderful place to wake up, the cool waters of this deep lake will definitely eradicate the Atlas dust out of all necessary crevices.
Mount Toubkal summit

4. Mount Toubkal summit

Aka Jebel Toubkal, and North Africa’s highest peak, it’s one of the most magnificent mountaineering experiences within a short distance of Europe. At 4,167m, it’s a strenuous trek all year round, although people do take it on during snowy winter months, when alpinism and climbing experience are vital. Training is always included in your trip. Most summits take between two and four days.
Refuge du Toubkal

5. Refuge du Toubkal

Sometimes called Basecamp Toubkal or Neltner Refuge, this is the overnight stop at 3,207m before summiting Toubkal, another 3.5 hour trek away. Built 1938 by French alpinists, one of whom was Monsieur Neltner, it was refurbished in 1997 and sleeps 86 trekkers in dormitories, or you can camp beside it. With very basic meals and a warm fire, a Berber mint tea before the final morning summit tastes like the best ever.
Tizi n Tacht Pass

6. Tizi n Tacht Pass

This is the warm up for those taking on Toubkal over a few days, and a wakeup call that you are in the magnificent High Atlas – especially if you are camping here, waking up at 2,000m with the Atlas in your face. From Tacht you will also access the stunning, juniper tree filled Azaden Valley, with waterfalls and small villages all forming part of your trek from here onto Toubkal’s northern slope.
Mount Ouanoukrim

7. Mount Ouanoukrim

Morocco’s second highest peak, many people add it on to a Toubkal trekking holiday. With two summits, Timzguida (4,089m) and Ras Ouanoukrim (4,083m), forming one mountain most aim for the former because of its huge dome peak with superb panoramic views down to the desert plains. It is tough, though, as you usually take it on the day after Toubkal, taking advantage of your elevated starting point.
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Mount Toubkal or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Written by Catherine Mack
Photo credits: [Page banner: Julia Maudlin] [Is/Isn't: Omer Simkha] [Map intro: Zakaria ElQotbi] [Aroumd: Mickael T] [Map intro: Omer Simkha] [Lake ifni: Lanzonnet] [Mount Toubkal summit: not creative 123] [Refuge Toubkal: Mickael T] [Tizi n 'Tacht Pass: AbdelCharaf] [Mount Ouanoukrim: Fabrice Cadou]